Only a tiny number of the UK’s mechanics are qualified to work on fully electric vehicles, according to a new report.
According to the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), just three per cent of vehicle technicians in the UK are certified to work on electric vehicles. And the news gets worse if you’re hoping to save some money and get your EV serviced at an independent garage, as the vast majority of those qualified are employed by franchised manufacturer dealerships.
The IMI also expressed concern at the lack of EV infrastructure, with the government’s designated ‘Clean Air Zones’ falling short on targets. It notes there are only 18,000 public charging points – an average of one per eight cars.
The IMI is calling on the government to address both of these concerns, with both a more reliable and accessible infrastructure for the growing number of plug-in vehicles in the UK as well as a new standard for vehicle technicians.
It is working with the government to establish national standards for technicians, which comply with health and safety requirements as well as the Electricity at Work Regulations.
Steve Nash, chief executive of the IMI, said: “The recently published sales figures for electric and hybrid vehicles demonstrate that drivers are rapidly making the transition away from pure petrol/diesel engines.
“However, it’s vital that government recognises the new skills requirements needed to underpin the successful move to this new technology – which is entirely different to the skills required to service and repair internal combustion engines.
“Without appropriate training vehicle technicians are at risk of serious harm or even death and employers may be in breach of Health & Safety regulations. Government must incentivise and support businesses to invest in the training of their staff if they are to have the knowledge and skills to safely work on or around high voltage vehicle systems and technology.”